cannibalz3
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Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:14 am

In the book 'Ghost Wars' Steve Coll describes offhand the black C-141 Starlifter that William Casey, at the time the director of the CIA, took back and forth to Pakistan while supplying the mujaheddin there. Does anyone here know anything about this plane and what happened to it?
 
zanl188
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:42 am



Quoting CannibalZ3 (Thread starter):
black C-141 Starlifter

I suspect the term "black" refers to the nature of the mission rather than color the aircraft was painted. A plain jane C-141 would be a fairly low viz way for a high level gov't official to travel - particularly if the aircraft was operating where 141 operations were routine...
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kc135topboom
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:45 am

There was, for a short time, an all black (color) RC-135. I am not sure if it was a "V" or "W" model. I doubt it was a "S" model.
 
cannibalz3
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:42 am

KC, know why it was painted black, and where I could find pictures of it? In fact, could you PM me?

Also, though Coll doesn't talk much about the C-141 except in passing (great book about the CIA in Afghanistan, btw), it's clear he means black the color as opposed to 'black' the opaque use thereof.
 
zanl188
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:54 am



Quoting Cannibalz3 (Reply 3):
Also, though Coll doesn't talk much about the C-141 except in passing (great book about the CIA in Afghanistan, btw), it's clear he means black the color as opposed to 'black' the opaque use thereof.

What would be the point of a C-141 painted black? It would stick out like a sore thumb...
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studedave
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:18 am



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
What would be the point of a C-141 painted black? It would stick out like a sore thumb...

 no  Not in the dark it wouldn't!!!  wideeyed   covereyes   shhh   ghost 
 scratchchin  I'm sure you'd still be able to hear it, though...

 duck 
Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
 
zanl188
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:49 am



Quoting StudeDave (Reply 5):
Not in the dark it wouldn't!!!

There's the small matter of the rest of the day.....  Smile
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kc135topboom
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:34 am

It would not make sense to fly a black airplane in that part of the world (Pakistan or within about 25 degrees of the equator). Depending on which direction you are flying, you could only be in dark night conditions for as little as 6 hours.

Most big black airplanes would fly near the poles to make maximum use of night conditions. Then they will be parked in a hanger during daylight conditions. Black airplanes stand out on ramps, too.
 
zanl188
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:21 pm

A C-141 in a recent - it faded badly - European One scheme might be mistaken as a "black" airplane.


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gsosbee
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:19 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
I suspect the term "black" refers to the nature of the mission rather than color the aircraft was painted.

It was a mission description that lasted until the Russians departed.
 
rc135x
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:02 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
There was, for a short time, an all black (color) RC-135. I am not sure if it was a "V" or "W" model. I doubt it was a "S" model.

I am not at all familiar with any all-black RC-135 or reconnaissance KC-135 variant, even for a brief period. Several recon and testbed variants had black wings and/or fuselage tops or fronts, but I simply cannot recall recall any all black (color) RC-135.

I would be very pleased to learn more about this specific airplane and any other details you might provide.

Thanks
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
rc135x
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:07 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
I suspect the term "black" refers to the nature of the mission rather than color the aircraft was painted.

There were, of course, special mission C-141s which were unofficially referred to as MC-141s, although I haven't seen any documentation that this was formal (it could have been but I have not seen it). The airplanes were equipped for low-level operations and had some distinguishing features which, if I recall from a very brief article and photo which appeared in an old edition of World Air Power Journal, could have been FLIR or other electro-optical sensors and/or ESM/RHAW/ECM fairings. This would surely have been a so-called "black" program, but I cannot imagine the need for such special equipment to fly VIPs into Pakistan in an airplane so configured.
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
zanl188
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:57 pm



Quoting RC135X (Reply 11):
There were, of course, special mission C-141s which were unofficially referred to as MC-141s,



Quoting RC135X (Reply 11):
This would surely have been a so-called "black" program

The SOLL II 141s were readily identifiable by the additional warts on the nose. I never heard them called MC-141, just SOLL II. Nothing "black" about these airplanes....


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F14D4ever
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:14 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 12):
The SOLL II 141s were readily identifiable by the additional warts on the nose. I never heard them called MC-141, just SOLL II.

I'm sorry, I must have been sleeping. You lost me with the SOLL reference. What does that stand for?
"He is risen, as He said."
 
flyf15
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:45 pm



Quoting F14D4ever (Reply 13):

I'm sorry, I must have been sleeping. You lost me with the SOLL reference. What does that stand for?

Special Ops Low Level...
 
AFHokie
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RE: Black Starlifter?

Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:25 am



Quoting RC135X (Reply 10):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
There was, for a short time, an all black (color) RC-135. I am not sure if it was a "V" or "W" model. I doubt it was a "S" model.

I am not at all familiar with any all-black RC-135 or reconnaissance KC-135 variant, even for a brief period. Several recon and testbed variants had black wings and/or fuselage tops or fronts, but I simply cannot recall recall any all black (color) RC-135.

I would be very pleased to learn more about this specific airplane and any other details you might provide.

Thanks

I'd like to hear about this specific airplane too. The only RC aircraft that I know of ever painted black is the right wing on the S models to prevent glint off the surface interfering with the optics

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